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US, Lanka resolved to work together for peace, security in Indo-Pacific: Joint statement

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

The and resolved to work together to foster peace, security and ensure a safe maritime domain in the Indian and Pacific oceans, the two said in a joint statement issued Friday.

Both the vowed to ensure a rules-based order in the

The joint statement comes a day after US for Political Affairs and visiting Sri Lankan held third US-Partnership Dialogue in the

"The and resolved to work together to foster peace and security and ensure a safe maritime domain in the Indian and Pacific Oceans through a rules-based order that ensures respect for international laws and norms," the joint statement said.

In this context, the US strategy towards a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, which ensures freedom of navigation, overflight, and unimpeded commerce was acknowledged as an important initiative.

"They shared the intention to further promote cooperation and exchanges in maritime security and safety, and noted with satisfaction the conference hosted by Sri Lanka in October 2018, and agreed to continue to pursue joint initiatives to enhance security, stability, transparency, and economic opportunity for mutual benefit," the statement said.

During the meeting, the reiterated Donald Trump's statement that stands with Sri Lanka against terrorism and supports Sri Lanka's counter-terrorism efforts following the horrific Sunday terrorist attacks of April 21.

Sri Lanka expressed appreciation for US support, including multi-faceted assistance from the in Colombo and investigators from the

"The two sides discussed possible areas of future assistance as well. The terrorists who struck Sri Lanka on appear to have drawn inspiration from In this context, Sri Lanka was briefed about the to Defeat The United States offered to continue to expand counter-terrorism and maritime and border security cooperation with Sri Lanka," it said.

The two governments welcomed the ongoing bilateral security sector cooperation, including US support for demining, joint military engagements, Sri Lanka's peacekeeping operations, human rights training for Sri Lankan officers, and visits by US ships and military officials.

According to the joint statement, the United States and Sri Lanka agreed to expand military-to-military cooperation.

Welcoming the renewal of Sri Lanka's commitment to promote reconciliation, accountability, justice, and human rights in pursuit of lasting peace and prosperity, the US acknowledged progress in these areas, including on the mandate of the Office of Missing Persons, passage of legislation to establish an Office of Reparations, and the return of private land used by security forces.

The US and Sri Lanka expressed support for strong economic partnership and growing bilateral trade based on the principles of fairness and reciprocity.

The two governments welcomed the approval of a USD 480-million compact by the Board. Signature of the compact is pending Congressional approval in the United States and Cabinet approval in Sri Lanka.

A day earlier, in his meeting with the Sri Lankan condemned the attacks that Sri Lanka suffered last month, which also killed five Americans.

Marapana noted appreciation for US support in the aftermath of the bombings and conveyed Sri Lanka's interest in deepening cooperation to prevent future attacks.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 18 2019. 07:20 IST